Masking up or masking off?

As you walk around campus, you’ll see people wearing a mask due to COVID-19 and wanting to protect themselves from the spread of the virus, but as cases continue to drop, should it be a good idea for CSULB to lift their own mask mandate?

President Jane Close Conoley sent out an email to the Long Beach State community on Aug. 10 about requiring facial coverings in indoor spaces on campus. The spaces included classrooms and labs, the Student Health Center, childcare centers, public transit, small offices and conference rooms.

Seeing how the pandemic has affected so many lives worldwide, I did appreciate President Conoley restating the mask policy to protect those on campus who choose to wear a mask.

Just walking through campus, you’ll see many people walking around with a mask and some of them without it, regardless if they were indoor or outdoors.

Inside of these indoor spaces, the faculty was given the choice to decide whether or not to enforce the mask policy. I thought what was the point of giving the option to enforce the rule and it not be mandatory, especially in classrooms when each professor could have their own opinions on the mask policy.

On Sept. 12, President Conoley announced in another email to students and staff that the mask mandate is now “strongly recommended,” but not required, changing the school’s initial stance on masks.

Of course it would be nearly impossible to have all students masked up at times because not everyone is for wearing masks, but not having a mask policy at all may lead to a negative outlook on CSULB itself on not being considerate of people who are immunocompromised or have weak immune systems.

For incoming freshman or transfer students coming into a school with a mask policy that is only strongly recommended, it could possibly impact the school’s admission rate that could make the school look bad compared to pre-COVID years.

With the mask mandate being lifted, I will still continue to wear my mask regardless of where I am on campus. I must admit, I did find myself taking off my mask during class because of my sweat from the recent heat wave that affected Southern California, but it won’t deter me from staying away from any potential cases of COVID.

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